Strong start to the year for British automotive sector

Posted on 6 Feb 2017 by Fred Tongue

New SMMT figures show that the British automotive sector has experienced its best January for 12 years.

The new automotive market in the UK has experienced the most successful January for 12 years, according to data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The statistics show that 174,564 new vehicles left car show rooms last month, a 2.9% year-on-year uplift and the highest level since 2005. In January 2016, 169,678 vehicles were sold.

One of the most interesting statistics to come from the report was the fact that the alternatively fuelled vehicles sector grew by almost 20 per cent. This took the market share of alternatively fuelled vehicles to a record 4.2 per cent.

In other fuel types there was a mixed bag, with new petrol car registrations growing by 8.9 per cent and diesel vehicle registrations shrinking by 4.3 per cent.

Elsewhere in the market private motorists led the growth, registering 76,729 new vehicles, a growth of five per cent. Fleet demand grew by 1.4 per cent, while business registrations were one of the only sectors to see negative growth with -1 per cent.

SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, explained: “2017 got off to a good start in the new car market, buoyed by a great range of new models which are safer and cleaner than ever before. It’s encouraging to see alternatively fuelled vehicles benefiting from this positive growth, reaching a record market share.

“After record growth in 2016, some cooling is anticipated over the coming months, but provided interest rates remain low and the economy stable, the market is in a good position to withstand its short-term challenges.”